Title

Survey of Adherence with COVID-19 Prevention Behaviors During the 2020 Thanksgiving and Winter Holidays Among Members of the COVID-19 Community Research Partnership

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-1-2022

Journal

Journal of Community Health

Volume

47

Issue

1

DOI

10.1007/s10900-021-01021-z

Keywords

COVID-19; Gatherings; Holiday travel; Prevention behaviors

Abstract

Prevention behaviors represent important public health tools to limit spread of SARS-CoV-2. Adherence with recommended public health prevention behaviors among 20000 + members of a COVID-19 syndromic surveillance cohort from the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States was assessed via electronic survey following the 2020 Thanksgiving and winter holiday (WH) seasons. Respondents were predominantly non-Hispanic Whites (90%), female (60%), and ≥ 50 years old (59%). Non-household members (NHM) were present at 47.1% of Thanksgiving gatherings and 69.3% of WH gatherings. Women were more likely than men to gather with NHM (p < 0.0001). Attending gatherings with NHM decreased with older age (Thanksgiving: 60.0% of participants aged < 30 years to 36.3% aged ≥ 70 years [p-trend < 0.0001]; WH: 81.6% of those < 30 years to 61.0% of those ≥ 70 years [p-trend < 0.0001]). Non-Hispanic Whites were more likely to gather with NHM than were Hispanics or non-Hispanic Blacks (p < 0.0001). Mask wearing, reported by 37.3% at Thanksgiving and 41.9% during the WH, was more common among older participants, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics when gatherings included NHM. In this survey, most people did not fully adhere to recommended public health safety behaviors when attending holiday gatherings. It remains unknown to what extent failure to observe these recommendations may have contributed to the COVID-19 surges observed following Thanksgiving and the winter holidays in the United States.

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